At Fairmont Animal Hospital we recommend having your puppy surgically sterilized (Ovariohysterectomy) at 6 months of age, before her first heat cycle. An Ovariohysterectomy is commonly referred to as ‘spaying’.
This surgery is one of the most important aspects of healthcare you can provide to your female dog. Spaying involves removing the ovaries and uterus. Although we perform this surgery routinely it is none the less a major surgical procedure. This is why we take extra care to ensure she has a safe surgical experience and a smooth recovery.
There are many health benefits to having your puppy ‘spayed’ which include
- A reduced chance of developing mammary tumours later in life – dogs who have had more than 2 heat cycles have a 25 percent higher risk of developing mammary tumours during their lifetime.
- She will not develop a Pyometra, this is a potentially fatal infection of the uterus
- No possibility of developing ovarian or uterine cancer
- The female dog comes into heat usually every 6 to 8 months. There is a bloody vaginal discharge and attraction of local male dogs, often there can be an offensive odour. All of this disappears with spaying.
Many people believe that spaying their dog will change her personality, make her fat or that a litter is needed to make her a better dog. These are all misconceptions – her personality will not change, nor will she become overweight (unless you overfeed her). Pregnancy and having a litter will not make her a better, happier or healthier dog, in fact, pregnancy and whelping do place her at a higher risk of medical complications.
A Canine Ovariohysterectomy at Fairmont Animal Hospital:
On the day of the surgery what to expect:
- A full physical exam prior to surgery
- Pre-anaesthetic blood screening
- Intravenous fluid therapy
- Anaesthetic monitoring – which involves monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiration rate and pulse.
- Premedication induction agents
- Pain management
- Hospitalization and recovery
- Follow up 7 to 10 days later
Written by Marie Hearn